‘Wine time Fridays’ puts pressure on British Prime Minister Johnson

But those weren’t isolated events, according to Saturday’s Daily Mirror, which published a photo of a wine cooler delivered to a back door in Downing Street in December 2020.

It said the staff would fill the fridge with suitcases full of alcohol, and Johnson would often stop by on their “Wine time Fridays”.

“The idea that he didn’t know there were drinks is total nonsense,” the paper quoted a source as saying.

“If the Prime Minister tells you to ‘let off steam’, he’s basically saying that’s fine.”

In response, a Downing Street spokesman said the government was awaiting Gray’s inquiry “to establish the facts surrounding the nature of gatherings” amid the pandemic.


But at least five Conservative MPs say they have already submitted letters demanding a no-confidence vote against the prime minister.

After the Mirror report, Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen said Johnson had “lost the moral authority to lead”.

He presided over a staff culture of “one rule for them, and the rest of us do as we’re told,” Bridgen told the BBC.

Most cabinet members have sided with Johnson, but support from some, including powerful finance minister Rishi Sunak, has been clearly lukewarm.

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman broke ranks to claim Johnson “needs to change his ways”, describing the personal toll that adhering to the lockdown rules had taken on his family.

“I feel quite emotional about this because in May 2020 my wife and children were unwell and had to go to hospital. I couldn’t go there to support them,” he told the BBC.

The Oppermans’ newborn twins died in June 2020.

Since the ‘partygate’ revelations in Downing Street emerged last month, many other Britons have come forward with harrowing stories of being denied one last goodbye to dying loved ones during lockdowns.

The drip feed threatens to overshadow a reported Downing Street plan dubbed “Operation Save Big Dog” to save Johnson’s leadership after the Gray report is released.

The Independent newspaper said the plan would clean up top Downing Street employees.

The government has already said it plans to ease current Covid restrictions by the end of January, and Johnson allies have praised his achievements in office, including his delivery of Britain’s Brexit withdrawal from the European Union.

But the Labor party, which has risen sharply in the polls, said Johnson was “not fit for the office”.

“We are witnessing the fractured spectacle of a prime minister, entangled in deceit and deceit, unable to lead,” Labor leader Keir Starmer said in a speech on Saturday.


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